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Call Your Mummy on Mother's Day?

978-0-7864-4880-7Ken Jeremiah, author of Living Buddhas: The Self-Mummified Monks of Yamagata, Japan and Christian Mummification: An Interpretative History of the Preservation of Saints, Martyrs and Others, was featured in a recent article by iO9 about how to mummify yourself.  As one might imagine, the monks of Yamagata did not decide to mummify themselves on the spur of the moment.  According to Jeremiah, there was “a 3,000-day training process for turning an ordinary ascetic’s body into a mummy’s. The key element of the process is dietary; Japanese ascetics would commonly abstain from cereals, removing wheat, rice, foxtail millet, pros so millet, and soybeans. Instead, they would eat things like nuts, berries, pine needles, tree bark, and resin (which is why the diet of the sokushinbutsu was called mokujikyo, or tree-eating.”  Go here for io9’s entire article about self-mummification.

And good for the month of May, there is a 20% discount on mummy books with the coupon code MUMMY.  Mummy Books from McFarland:

Living Buddhas: The Self-Mummified Monks of Yamagata, Japan

Christian Mummification: An Interpretative History of the Preservation of Saints, Martyrs and Others

Mummies in Nineteenth Century America: Ancient Egyptians as Artifacts

The Mummy Unwrapped: Scenes Left on Universal’s Cutting Room Floor

The Mummy in Fact, Fiction and Film

Modern Mummies: The Preservation of the Human Body in the Twentieth Century

The Corpse: A History

The Egyptian Pyramids: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Reference

Ancient Egypt in the Popular Imagination: Building a Fantasy in Film, Literature, Music and Art

Boris Karloff: A Critical Account of His Screen, Stage, Radio, Television and Recording Work


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TEXTBOOK: An Introduction to World Cinema, 2d ed

An Introduction to World CinemaIn print since 2000 and now in its second edition, this textbook provides two things: the history of film as an art form and an analysis of its impact on society and politics. Chapters are arranged chronologically, covering the major developments in film, like the advent of talkies or the French New Wave. Each era is examined in the context of several exemplary films commonly viewed in film studies courses. Thus students can watch Birth of a Nation and Intolerance while studying the innovations made by D.W. Griffith from 1910 to 1919. The scope is global, embracing the cinematic traditions of Asia, Latin America and Africa, as well as the ever important American and European output. Thoughtful articles from film scholars are included.

The flexible structure of An Introduction to World Cinema allows a variety of options for classroom use or personal study. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

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BOOK REVIEW: Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion

978-0-7864-7127-0Allende, anyone?  Booklist recently reviewed Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion thusly: “an expertly crafted study guide and tribute…the entries are rich in relevant historical detail, insightful literary criticism, and reflections on Allende’s place among contemporary writers of serious fiction…engaging essays on specific Allende writings…an erudite, affectionate, and wonderfully rich treatment of Isabel Allende and her work.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Allende–”la Famosa” to her fellow Chileans–is the world’s most widely read Spanish language author.  Her bravura study of the interwoven roles of women in family history opens the minds of outsiders to the sufferings of women and their children during years of social and political nightmare.  Her powerfully honest, revelatory works touch the pulse points of humankind.  This reference work provides an introduction to Allende’s life as well as a guided overview of her body of work. Designed for the fan and scholar alike, this text features an alphabetized, fully-annotated listing of major terms in the Allende canon, including fictional characters, motifs, historical events and themes. A comprehensive index is included.

For more about the book, or to purchase directly from McFarland:

For more McFarland Literary Companions:


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THROWBACK THURSDAY: Aprons at McFarland?

When the 1990s began at McFarland, one could spot some neon colors and oversized sweaters in the office.  However, the popular fashion trend was aprons…radiation protection aprons.  Every expectant mother on staff (and there were a lot!) got one.  You might ask yourself, “What, was the typesetting equipment powered by nuclear reactors?”  We can’t be certain, but the equipment was most definitely large enough to contain said reactors.  We have photographic evidence…

Nuclear reactor contained within.
Nuclear reactor contained within.
Radiation protection apron.
Radiation protection apron.












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Senior Acquisitions Editor Signs up 12-Volume Mark Grace Bio

Senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem has signed up a new manuscript to the baseball line titled Taking Care of Business: The Mark Grace Story in 12 Volumes.  Grace (a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, native) played first base for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks and owns the 148th best career on-base percentage in the majors.

“While all details are not yet set, we plan for one volume to exhaustively cover Grace’s doubles, another to do the same for his sac flies, and another volume to be completely dedicated to his relief pitching career,” said Mitchem.

Adam Phillips in the sales department is particularly optimistic about the book’s prospects. “With Mark Grace, the glass is always at least half-full,” said Phillips.

A lettered, limited edition for left-handed readers will hit the market Summer 2014, with the library edition following late in the year.



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OBITUARY: Robert G. "Hank" Utley

HankThirdBaseNCStateAuthor Robert G. “Hank” Utley passed away Wednesday, March 19.  Hank was a gifted storyteller with an incredible heart, and was very passionate about his community.  McFarland has been a big fan of Hank’s ever since he and coauthor Scott Verner first shared their manuscript about the independent Carolina League.  Through his own books and his research contributions to others, Hank introduced us to the mill town institution of outlaw ball.  Well, Hank Utley is also a mill town institution.  Hank’s books were not just about baseball; they were about the people.  Whether he was covering intense rivalries like that of the Kannapolis Towelers and the Concord Weavers, or relating the many facets of mill town life, Hank did an incredible job with his research and preservation.  Thanks to Hank, we will always remember this fascinating slice of history.  Hank, too, will always be remembered.


Obituary in the Independent-Tribune

Article about his work with the Boys & Girls Club

Author’s Personal Website

The Independent Carolina Baseball League, 1936–1938: Baseball Outlaws by R.G. (Hank) Utley and Scott Verner

Outlaw Ballplayers: Interviews and Profiles from the Independent Carolina Baseball League  by R.G. (Hank) Utley , and Tim Peeler with Aaron Peeler

The Easter Monday Baseball Game: North Carolina State and Wake Forest on the Diamond, 1899–1956 by Tim Peeler

Baseball in the Carolinas: 25 Essays on the States’ Hardball Heritage edited by Chris Holaday



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Celebrate 2014 with the best possible gift: books!

Our holiday sale ends today, Dec. 31st, so don’t delay!   Best wishes to all from your McFarland friends…happy reading!  Enjoy 20% off your order through today.  On the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time).

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North Carolina Civil War Monuments

Love North Carolina?  Love history?  Have a listen to author Doug Butler who recently discussed his North Carolina Civil War Monuments on NPR’s WFDD.  Enjoy!


Just a reminder folks, enjoy 20% off your order through December 31st.  On the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time).

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REVIEW: Encyclopedia of Fairies

Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology is “meticulously researched” and “most helpful” according to the American Library Association in the most recent issue of Booklist.   From the A-senee-ki-waku of northeastern North America to the Zips of Central America and Mexico, this encyclopedia includes more than 2,500 individual beings and species of fairy and nature spirits from a wide range of mythologies and religions from all over the globe.  Entries include variations of the fairy name, as well as sources for that particular entry.  There is a lengthy introduction to the subject, an extensive bibliography and a complete index.


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REVIEW: Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology

Move over, Elf on the Shelf, we’re thinking about fairies!  A recent Library Journal review of our Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology says: “More than 2,000 individual fairies and species of fairy from around the world and across time, as well as helpful entries on the phenomenon as observed in various geographic areas. Well done. For writers, mythologists, and fairy tale lovers and scholars in high school, public, and academic libraries.”  Check it out for all kinds of history, mischief, and magic!

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Some Portions of Online Catalog Temporarily Unavailable

As of Wednesday, December 10, at 10:53 EST, some portions of the online catalog (such as list prices) are temporarily unavailable.  McFarland is refreshing the catalog database, and we expect for all portions to be accessible later this morning.

If you experience trouble ordering online, please call toll-free 800-253-2187.  Our customer service reps can take your order  and will apply your holiday discount coupon over the phone.


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CALL FOR PAPERS: Veterans in Society

“Veterans in Society: Broadening the Discourse”
2nd Annual Veteran Studies Research Conference 2014 (VSC2014)
Virginia Tech & Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, VA April 27–28, 2014


Call for Papers

An interdisciplinary conference, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society (CSRS) at Virginia Tech, will be held at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center to bring together multiple perspectives on the many issues surrounding veterans in society. Our goal is for the conference to lead to the formation of a multi-disciplinary, international scholarly community with its own calendar of events and digital presence. This year’s conference will broaden the discussion by focusing on the role of the arts and the humanities in shaping policy and addressing some of the difficult social issues faced by veterans and their families.

Topics may address but are not exclusively restricted to the following questions:

  • When governments and the private sector offer services to veterans, they project identities on people they label “veterans.” In what respects are there blind spots or problematic assumptions in the existing research and service-delivery agendas that disadvantage some veterans?
  • Who “counts” as a veteran? Have some kinds of service, experiences, needs, or potentials arbitrarily been privileged (or devalued) over others?
  • How have veterans themselves made meaning of their military and civilian experiences?
  • What do historical, comparative, and literary perspectives bring to our understanding of military service and the post-military experiences of veterans vis-à-vis their civilian societies? Conversely, in what respects might such “lessons” be spurious?

Finally, because this research area of veterans studies is broadly defined, we solicit research that

  • Invites scholars and service providers – and veterans – to examine the experiences of military personnel and veterans from countries other than the United States, other wars than the recent American-led conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan, and other settings than active duty in hot conflicts;
  • Discusses other people whose experiences substantially paralleled and even intersected those of wartime military veterans (e.g., diplomats, journalists, civilian contractors in their various capacities) but who are not usually regarded as veterans;
  • Analyzes veterans’ use of politics and civil society, not as clients with needs defined by service providers but as active participants;
  • Analyzes representations of veterans in literature, film, social media, or other genres;
  • Discusses / represents how veterans use literature, music, and other creative media, whether as creators expressing themselves or as audiences for whom those creations may have special significance or value.

Cornerstones of the Event

The event will begin on Sunday night with a production by Outside the Wire (, a social impact company that uses theater and a variety of other media to address pressing public health and social issues, such as combat-related psychological injury. Their Theater of War (ToW) presents readings of Sophocles’ Ajax as a catalyst for a facilitated town hall discussion about suicide, combat stress, alcohol and substance abuse, and the impact of war on families. For the past three years, this groundbreaking initiative has been a catalyst for powerful dialogue at military installations worldwide, as well as at colleges, universities, and regional theaters. More than 100 acclaimed actors have participated, including Blythe Danner, Paul Giamatti, Charles S. Dutton, Terrence Howard, David Strathairn, Debra Winger, and Dianne Wiest. At least one actor of this caliber will perform.

The second foundational element of our event will feature a session entitled, “Growing Up Military,” led by Donna Musil, the founder of the nonprofit Brats Without Borders, who wrote and directed the award-winning film Brats:

Our Journey Home. This film documented the “hidden American subculture” of more than 15 million people raised in the military system. After screening key sections of the film, Donna Musil will discuss her experiences working with military brats of all ages, including considerations of the ways in which today’s young (~18 and under) military kids—having grown up in a decade of war—might also be seen as veterans.

In addition, we will offer a panel entitled “Support Our Troops? A Community in Dialogue.” In August 2013, a Virginia Tech professor published a controversial op-ed piece with on why he objects to corporate fundraising campaigns that use the phrase “support our troops.” In the weeks that followed, community members participated in wide-ranging discussions responding to the article and language choices surrounding the military in society. This panel will include representatives from both military and civilian perspectives; panelists will address strategies for making conversations across ideological differences more productive.

We welcome all suggestions for the conference, as well as offers to chair sections and round-table discussions.


Submission Guidelines

The conference organizers anticipate that most successful proposals will be for papers presenting completed research and technical papers. However, we encourage proposals that present promising, provocative work in progress as well as academically sound research that may use nontraditional formats/media.

Authors should submit abstracts of no more than 500 words for blind review: do not include author names, affiliations, or other personally identifiable information.

All submissions should conform to a widely accepted style that will be intelligible to an interdisciplinary audience (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).


Important Dates

  • Jan 10, 2014: Submission due
  • Jan 30, 2014: Notification (Accept, Conditional Accept, or Reject)
  • July 1, 2014 (estimated): Submission of contributions to proceedings
  • Sept 15, 2014 (estimated): Public availability of proceedings



As previously, we hope the findings presented at VSC2014 will generate wide-ranging conversations that span disciplines, institutional affiliations, generations, and veteran/military/civilian status. We encourage high-level participation from all quarters, including professionals in fields pertaining to veterans, independent scholars, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates.

Authors will present their research in two phases:

  1. Proposals. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words prepared for blind peer review and a cover letter providing contact information for the author(s). The results described must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  2. Contributions to proceedings. Authors will have a reasonable, limited time to revise their formal presentation’s content and formatting for publication in the online conference proceedings. Authors may also include slide decks of the presentations, handouts, and other supplemental materials as part of the proceedings. Multimedia elements such as video or audio clips may be incorporated into the papers or submitted as supplemental files. Contributions to the proceedings will be curated by the Virginia Tech libraries to promote their widespread discovery, access, and preservation at no cost to authors or the public. Authors will retain their own copyrights.
If you would like additional information about VSC2014, contact Dr. Jim Dubinsky ( or Dr. Bruce Pencek (
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Ashe County Literary Festival

Local folks: it’s a beautiful day in the mountains and we’re currently at the Ashe County Literary Festival here in town–come see us at the Ashe Arts Center.  While you’re at it, add this to tomorrow’s agenda–at 10:00 am our very own Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard (Stephen Shoemaker: The Paintings and Their Stories) will be at the Ashe County Farmers’ Market with books on hand.  Be sure to stop by for a visit!

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Author and Sociologist Robert Bartholomew on Mass Hysteria in Schools










The Atlantic Monthly magazine ran a major article about recent outbreaks of mass hysteria in two United States schools apparently spread by Facebook.  McFarland author and sociologist Robert Bartholomew, who lends his expertise to the article, “is is not surprised by the outbreak in the slightest.”  Go here for the full article.

Books authored and coauthored by Robert Bartholomew:

Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566

The Martians Have Landed! A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes

Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion



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The Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon: 30 Years Old Today

Over on GeekDad, contributor John Booth writes about how Dungeons & Dragons came to Saturday morning cartoon land 30 years ago.  The cartoon was beloved by gamers and non-gamers alike.  Regarding the D&D game the cartoon was adapted from, Booth says:

“I loved it.  I was 12 years old, and, although I had a Fiend Folio and several AD&D modules, I never really learned to play the game for real.  My friend Mike and I rolled up characters — often cheating terribly: You’ve never seen so many 18s — and took turns guiding each other through adventures in a manner that would be an insult to the term “DMing.”  But we had fun, and our imaginations were sparked by the books and settings.”

Read more at GeekDad.

For McFarland books about gaming and gaming culture, browse here.

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Publishing Position Available

A fulltime editorial position is open.  This is an entry level, multifaceted job, involving editing, proofreading, correspondence, author relations and editorial department administrative duties.  A four year college degree (any subject) is required.  Psychological maturity, “people skills” and a flair for language are major pluses.  Good computer skills are needed.  Testing is required.  McFarland benefits include personal time off (includes vacations, sick days and holidays) based on years of service, a superior retirement plan, an insurance package that includes medical and dental as well as short and long term disability along with long term care and maternity/paternity leaves and other benefits.  There is an annual review for raises and bonuses.  Apply by September 27, 2013, at any office of the Division of Workforce Solutions (

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Huffington Post Recognizes Author Tim Peeler

Last week we posted news of Tim Peeler’s recent reading in Boston, where he was the guest of the Boston Red Sox and read from Waiting for Godot’s First Pitch.  Now one of the people who helped make it happen, George Mitrovich, has published an appreciation of the poet, which can be found online at The Huffington Post:

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Fenway Park Writers Series: Waiting for Godot's First Pitch

Tim Peeler’s two most recent McFarland books are baseball histories, but to some of us here he remains a poet first, albeit one who in writing prose sometimes hits from the other side of the plate.  It’s been more than a decade since we published his first volume, Touching All the Bases: Poems from Baseball, and wider recognition has come his way in recent years—not long ago, he was named a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award for Poetry—but we congratulate ourselves for being among his early admirers.

Credit the Boston Red Sox, too, for recognizing a fine poet when they see one.  On Friday, August 16, Peeler will read from Waiting for Godot’s First Pitch as part of the Great Fenway Park Writers Series:

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Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas

Noted authority Dr. William R. Short, the author of Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas, is having an active summer.   Once again, he is teaching a summer course in Iceland at Háskólasetur Vestfjarða (University Center of the Westfjords).  Short is also prominently featured in the documentary Viking Fighting Moves from the Sagas, newly released through the non-profit Hurstwic organization.  The documentary is the third in a series produced by Hurstwic.

Icelanders in the Viking Age (“highly recommended” by Choice) is now on sale through McFarland with a coupon (see the weekly coupon here).

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INTERVIEW: D.G. Martin Speaks with Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard

UNC-TV’s NC NOW program broadcast D.G. Martin’s interview with Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard (Stephen Shoemaker).   The history of their collaboration and stories from several of Stephen’s paintings were discussed:

http ://video. unctv .org/video/2365046985.   A more comprehensive interview will air on UNC’s radio station WCHL within the next few weeks.   Stay tuned!

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Boondocks Brewing, McFarland Host Book Launch for Local Artist Stephen Shoemaker on Wednesday, Feb 27

North Carolina artist Stephen Shoemaker and Our State magazine writer Janet Pittard have teamed up to write Stephen Shoemaker: The Paintings and Their Stories.  A West Jefferson, NC,  native, Shoemaker is known for his dramatic railroad paintings and scenes of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant in downtown West Jefferson will be the site of the book launch, where together with publisher McFarland, they will be welcoming the public to meet the authors on Wednesday, February 27, at 5:00 PM.

Criticized for doodling too much in class, Shoemaker took his first art lessons at age 10 with Flossie Farr and Archie Black in the old block building across the street from the West Jefferson Elementary School.  Since, he’s gone on to be featured by UNC-TV, Our State magazine, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, among other outlets.

“The art and stories are about things that most people can identify with,” said Shoemaker recently. “The book is basically about local events and growing up in this area.”

The art book includes Shoemaker favorites such as his Virginia Creeper series, and also includes pieces created especially for the publication.

“There’s a lot of lively storytelling, but the book also sheds light on an artist’s thought processes and how inspiration is drawn from our region’s unique culture and history,” said coauthor Janet Pittard.

According to Shoemaker and Pittard, the joint project has been more than two years in the making.  Working with McFarland, who also had released The Art of Florence Thomas, was a natural fit.  McFarland is known for its topnotch, serious books aimed at the library market, and was experienced with the ultra-high design and printing standards required for art books.

The book launch is open to the public, begins at 5:00 and will run until approximately 7:30.  The authors will be autographing books, and McFarland will have copies on site for sale at a special launch price.  Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant will be providing entrée discounts for diners who buy a book and stay for supper.  Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant can be contacted at 336-246-5222 or online at  McFarland can be reached at 336-246-4460 or online at

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James Arness Paperback Has Been Announced

The late James Arness penned one of McFarland’s all-time bestsellers.  The autobiography of the World War II vet and television icon, originally published in its library edition on September 11, 2001,  is coming to paperback soon.

There are many personal revelations of interacting with some of the Gunsmoke family ensemble, such as Miss Kitty, Doc and Festus. His own work as a producer is covered. Throughout are rare, previously unpublished photographs from the author’s personal collection. Appendices include comments by show biz colleagues and fellow Gunsmoke alumni, and a sampling of letters received from his legions of fans. Actor and fellow Gunsmoke performer Burt Reynolds has written a foreword to the book.